The Three Principles of Spinning Babies:
Gail Tully created the Spinning Babies® Three Principles to guide birth preparation and choose techniques to prioritize body balancing before the typical strategies of getting up and moving in labor. We also want to include The Three Principles in our daily pregnancy lifestyle. Grow into a healthy pregnancy and birth with the 3 Principles of Spinning Babies.
Painting by Shelly Rahim. All Rights Reserved.
Adding balance to your body and movement during labor helps gravity move baby down easier.
What is balance? Body balance is “not too tight and not too loose, and not too twisty.” Balance helps align the uterus for fetal position and easier birth.
What is gravity? Upright birthing positions help align the uterus with gravity! We recommend specific positions for fetal descent.
What is movement? A specific way of jiggling and stretching muscles can relax what you can’t relax by intention.
Wendy’s Left Occiput Transverse baby is ideal for her labor to start.
Why start with The Three Principles?
Beginning now in pregnancy may help avoid fetal positioning problems later. Balancing muscles, aligning with gravity, and moving your body towards a flexible strength may enhance the birth experience and add comfort in pregnancy. Sometimes simply adding balance makes the difference!
Uneven postures used over time can tilt and tighten uterine or cervical ligaments on one side, twisting the uterus. Apply the Three Principles to see if what you choose to do in pregnancy will add balance, align with gravity, or create a sense of living movement in your body. Moving with gravity and balance may improve well being. Learn more about pregnancy posture at the page, Rest Smart.
What will techniques for all Three Principles of Spinning Babies do?
- Allow baby to move down easier with contractions
- Pelvic bones may open wider during birth
- Medical interventions may decrease
- Pain may decrease
- Comfort may increase – immediately!
- Babies may turn to the get into a more ideal position by themselves
- Labor may start and finish spontaneously
Spinning Babies First Principle: Balance
Not too tight, not too loose, and not too twisty means more comfort and better function.
An aligned pelvis may make pregnancy more comfortable and prepare for an easier childbirth.
How do I know if “balance” is needed?
Discomfort is a symptom of an imbalance. Chronic tension in the ligaments or muscles, or undeveloped muscles make a pelvis unstable which creates pain. Malposition may reveal an imbalance. Baby’s position fits the shape of available space inside the womb.
If uterine space is not optimally available then baby’s body may not line up with the way out.
Balancing the pelvic joints and muscles, the womb and the surrounding supportive structures add tone and appropriate symmetry, so one can find improved success from good postures in pregnancy.
How do I balance my muscles?
For balance, try these activities:
- Forward-leaning inversion
- Side-lying release for the pelvic floor and hips
- Psoas release (or resolution)
- Prenatal yoga with props or physical therapy techniques
- Standing sacral release
- Abdominal Release (Diaphragmatic release)
- Chiropractic, Craniosacral, myofascial techniques and care
What if a pregnant abdomen is too loose?
After a few births, the abdomen may be too loose. Supporting the growing belly with a pregnancy belt can substitute for missing tone in the abdominal muscles.
A good pregnancy belt supports the baby’s angle into the pelvis. The belt adds a slope to help the baby to aim and later, rotate into a good starting position for labor. Belly belts vary and so must be chosen by and for each individual.
Some people may have to wear the pregnancy belt through labor and pushing to keep the baby in a safe position. If the belly hangs over the pubic bone (pendulous belly) it may prevent a stall in labor, even in pushing out the shoulders, by keeping the belt on until baby is fully born.
What should I do for The 1st Principle of Balance?
If we attend to the first principle of Balance, the next one, Gravity, works even better in labor.
Whether too tight or too loose, balancing the supporting connective tissue to the uterus should be the first activity each day.
Release any muscle spasms or support loose abdominal muscles and uterine ligaments to set the tone of the abdomen. When one or some of the muscles are loose, there is often another one or some that are too tight. They are not in balance. It’s not about making one set stronger per se, but helping them work in balance.
Many women support the balance they have with Daily Essentials downloadable video. Using the video is the easy way to do the recommended daily activities. Adding the Fantastic Four from the Spinning Babies; Parent Class demos can be quite a dramatic improvement for up to 90% of pregnant women… be sure to follow directions and contraindications and help your helper do things comfortably for you. You can also get them on DVD.
Spinning Babies Second Principle: Gravity
Gravity works 24/7. A woman’s ability to walk upright helps her baby settle head down. Even from 10 weeks, and on through the 2nd trimester, even before baby is expected to be head down, a pregnant woman’s habits can influence how easily, or not, her baby can become head down.
In normal circumstances, baby will settle in a head down position. Standing and walking are examples of movement and gravity work together to settle baby head down.
In the last month of pregnancy, the growing baby slides lower in the softening womb. Baby’s weight bends baby’s neck as the back settles lower. This tucks the baby’s chin. Help your baby tuck his or her chin by relaxing the pelvic area and keeping it flexible.
Another benefit of sitting up on your Sitz bones, in line with gravity, is better function by adding space for your tailbone, abdomen, and lungs!
What should I do for The 2nd Principle of Gravity?
Go to our section on resting smart and posture to learn more about how to use gravity now to promote ease in your upcoming birth. Gravity’s effect on your positions is more effective after daily balancing techniques.
Spinning Babies Third Principle: Movement
The pelvis opens better when it has been kept mobile and “symmetrical.” That means there is full range of motion in the four pelvis joints and even the sacrum restores mobility. Symmetrical indicates that one leg isn’t shorter or longer, one hip isn’t rotated forward, and the pelvic floor isn’t twisted or shorter on one side causing baby to turn to an unfavorable position.
Movement such as walking supports flexibility. Movement and stretch in prenatal yoga and similar static stretch exercises helps range of motion as well as flexibility. Some women will swim belly down.
Water helps movement. In labor, women will decline a request that their amniotic sac, or bag of water, be broken by the doctor or midwife in an attempt to shorten a long labor. They know that an intact sac may help the baby rotate her head more easily during birth than no water. If marbles are stuck in a jar, then filling the jar with water and jiggling it gently is likely to free the block. Movement helps the water “flow” around baby’s head to help it move.
In pregnancy, movement and exercise improve
- Muscle length and tone
- Pelvic joints stretch and align
- May help with engagement at the end of pregnancy.
- Help descent once labor begins.
In labor, movement helps the
- Baby descend through the pelvis
- The birthing woman relax muscles she can’t relax simply by mentally trying or breathing
What should I do for The 3rd Principle of Movement?
In labor, we add some tiny jiggling movements (never big, jolting shakes!) to activate stretch organs in the muscles and tendons to soften the path and reduce pain. See Rebozo Manteada or Sifting and Shake the Apple Tree.
Check out the birthing ball tips to safely help baby’s head slip into the pelvis with Circles on the Ball.
What if this is too much and I feel overwhelmed?
We are all doing the best we can with what we can cope with. A year from now, I want you to be satisfied you did the amount of preparation you are satisfied with. Not every challenge with fetal position can be overcome, but most can!
Go to Daily Activities to learn more about what you can do during pregnancy to add balance.
Even easier: Seeing the instructions on video is easier than searching the website. Would you like balance today?
Download Daily Essentials downloadable video. Begin an easier pregnancy and childbirth. Add the Spinning Babies; Parent Class to see the Fantastic Four demos. Regular use of both videos creates a dramatic improvement for many. Be sure to follow directions and contraindications and don’t drop down into positions with a jolt. Ask your provider if there is any medical reason not to do a technique for you, especially the Forward-leaning Inversion. You can also get these same titles on DVD.
Spinning Babies Parent Class gives clear instructions on how to use Spinning Babies techniques in pregnancy and labor.
Daily Essentials can be done daily throughout pregnancy to bring balance for comfort & may help you have an easier, shorter birth.